I don't know who ITG spoke to for its report, but it certainly hasn't spoken to Selfridges UK, where the BlackBerry Q10 (NASDAQ:BBRY) is outselling the Samsung Galaxy S4 (OTC:SSNLF). When asked how this compared to the Z10, sales were far superior, especially one month post launch. The Carphone Warehouse at Selfridges is the number one retailing location for mobile phones in the UK bar none. So let's venture across the pond to see what the people in the great white north had to say.
A Quick Peek at Canada
As most of us expect the UK Q10 sales to be strong, I next went and called stores in Canada, which was the source of ITG's report.
After calling about 15 stores in Canada I stopped, as it was obvious: The Q10 was overwhelmingly trumping the Z10. When faced with the ITG information, here are some of the quotes I received back:
"That is not correct, it [Q10] is doing considerably better."
"It's doing great, better than the Z10."
"There are two BlackBerry buyers: iPhoners for the past two years who go for the Z10 and BlackBerry bold 9900 types who go for the q10."
I could quote these stores forever but readers will always be suspect of such research. So let me show you proof that you can verify yourselves.
eBay, eBay, on the Wall, Who's the Dearest of Them All?
A quick look at eBay UK and Canada confirms robust demand for the Q10. In the UK I did a thorough check on May 11-12. Here is a brief snapshot of sales of Q10s and Galaxy S4s, and what they reveal.
BlackBerry sold 72 Phones in 24hrs at a premium (599 GBP) compared to unlocked price of 549 GBP.
Galaxy S4 sold 140 phones over 14 days at an average price of 499 GBP! This is a discount of 80GBP vs the Phones4U unlocked price here.
In the UK the sharp difference in volume was due to the fact that "grey marketers" had swarmed on the Q10 and many where selling 30 units a time. You need to accept a simple fact: grey marketers know where the margins lie, and it's clearly not with the Samsung Galaxy S4 as they don't even bother with it.
In Canada, the BlackBerry Q10 on eBay sells for between $700-$900, with a mean around $820, a significant premium to the out of contract price.
Samsung Galaxy S4 on eBay Canada is selling for substantially less ($560-$720) than the Q10. See here.
The sharp price disparity is quite strange given that they sell at the same price through carriers in Canada….
A Note To Investor Concerning Independent "Research":
What readers should learn today is many so called 'research' shops are paid by short or long investors for research that will further their point of view. It is a sad fact that these research organizations do not disclose who pays them for their research. I suggest ITG call eBay and quote them in the future, it will give them a far more accurate read than their 'Store checks' and will be far less time consuming.
Someone should also warn ITG of one minor fact in 'store checking' the Q10: Most of the demand from corporate sales will not be visible to the consumer facing store. That's one Big, Glaring Error.
I would like to close on a sad note. I have learned of physical threats to a leading long analyst. A certain hedge fund has also pulled its entire business from a bank because it wouldn't fire another long analyst. This should give investors a sense of how nasty this struggle has become and they need to be very wary about what they read in the press or from analysts.